Saturday, June 16, 2012

Endless Summer

This May they had to cancel the Madison, WI Marathon due to record high temperatures in the mid-nineties. This followed other events that were either canceled while in progress, or had to offer deferments or had to take other measures to deal with record high temperatures.

The Canton Marathon is tomorrow, and we'll see temperatures close to ninety. I'm not looking forward to that. Why O Why did they think that a big (okay medium) city marathon in June would be a good idea? The ones in April and May couldn't even manage. Okay, that's it for complaining and feeling sorry for myself. That's also it for running content.

2012 was already set to go down as the year with no winter. And now there's no spring, either. That's not all. There are tornadoes, flooding and drought galore. Hurricanes began well before hurricane season. And everything that grows, hibernates or seasonally migrates here in Ohio is very much ahead of schedule. All this after 2011 was one of the hottest years on record. The Climate Change Deniers are generally keeping quiet these days.

It baffles me how there can be anyone who denies that things are out of control. Their fallback position is that even if it is happening, we human beings aren't the cause of it. Sorry, but they're wrong about this as well. The link between our greenhouse gasses and the warming of the planet are well established. This consensus had been reached years ago, but the deniers had been fighting it with what I call the Big Lie. At least in those cases where fossil fuel industry money is behind the notion, it's a Big Lie. I'm aware that there may be a few deniers who simply don't know, or won't accept the truth. But now, as I say, they've piped down.

Surely most non-scientific types have to rely on what they hear from the scientific community. It's too bad that they also hear the 'other side' in the media. What isn't disclosed is that the other side  - the deniers - are almost entirely made up of people with a vested interest in the status-quo.

If we now accept that climate change is indeed happening, and that human activity is the cause, why do we even consider electing politicians who will only add to the problem? There is no shortage of ideas to at least curb some greenhouse emissions. We need more of these, not less. Some politicians want to kill any renewable energy ideas in favor of the narrow-minded, short sighted and short term policies that have gotten us to this point.

Humanity will survive climate change. Even some other species will do so. The planet will actually even recover some day. The only questions are how well, and when. How well will we survive and what quality of life will we have? And when will the planet be able - or be allowed to - recover? Or at least begin to turn things around.

Some day we'll all have to face our grandchildren who will grow up in a world much different from our own. Will we be able to say that we at least tried to keep the planet in decent shape for them?

For more on this topic, see my debate with Dave.

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